There is a lot to celebrate in the wake of the main huge occasion of the European Tour season, and not simply the suffering winning bit of Lee Westwood.
The 46-year-old Englishman’s tasteful triumph at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship topped a competition played at an empowering pace that recommends the scourge of moderate play is at long last being handled adequately.
This was the primary occasion under the Tour’s new conventions on pace of play. Increasingly draconian standards mean two terrible occasions during the whole challenge – not only a solitary round – can prompt extra shots.
They positively appear to have caught the eye of the golf players.
“The players who have generally been late looked to me like they were continuing ahead with it,” said the visit’s senior official Andy McFee.
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Authorities dissected timings from the Abu Dhabi first round contrasted and a year ago when comparative climate conditions won.
“Strangely, the first round was really 10 minutes snappier this year,” McFee expressed.
“Also, the second round was around six minutes snappier, so the two rounds were faster.”
Three-ball matches found the middle value of a little more than four hours 30 minutes, which may appear to be monotonously long by novice gauges yet is amazingly quick in the expert game.
“The stream around the course was splendid,” McFee included. “There are consistently things that go into a delayed round of golf, it isn’t just about players playing gradually.”
Previous Ryder Cup commander Thomas Bjorn, a compelling voice all through his long vocation, gave his endorsement.
“It’s been astounding, however these are the things we need. Pace of play has been incredible this week,” said Bjorn, the visit’s competition board administrator before his triumphant captaincy in 2018.
“It appears as though the players have said to themselves, ‘well, this is it’.
“Our refs have been proactive. They have addressed the players about it and it appears everything is running pleasantly on the fairway.
“This is the route forward. It’s been splendid.
“I trust it doesn’t go like it goes in different games when you have rules changes and it appears as though the initial three or a month everyone is available, yet then you sort of forget about it.
“I trust it is pushed forward and we impart a decent sign to the world that we are paying attention to this, that we need to complete adjusts on schedule and we need to be in charge of all that we do.”
Slow players are being focused on and two were put on the ‘awful time register’ during the first round in Abu Dhabi. The beginner Ahmed Skaik took 109 seconds over a shot while Victor Hovland took 59 seconds to hit a putt.
Both missed the cut, and had they acquired another awful time they would have gotten a one-stroke punishment.
“Arranging the line on the ball, he was one serious long time doing that,” McFee said of Hovland’s offense.
The official, who was the central arbitrator in Abu Dhabi, said he has not gotten any negative criticism on the new conventions.
“Not yet, however I speculate we will,” he said.
“I had a few talks with a couple of the more slow players and revealed to them the opportunity has arrived. This is originating from the players, you must change.
“We’ve had various visits with different players throughout the years and up ’til now they haven’t generally tuned in. So it’s empowering.
“I think one about the reasons we are showing signs of improvement stream right now is on the grounds that those players who are very moderate, and let’s face it there’s many of them, have so far acknowledged they need to play somewhat snappier at this point.”
McFee knows the Abu Dhabi competition profited by a generally little field of 132 players, with 11-minute interims between gatherings. As the season advances and fields develop to 156, he expects round occasions to increment.
It comes down to volume of traffic and inescapable blockage. In any case, it appears players will be progressively prepared to press the quickening agent at whatever point they are capable, which can just profit the scene of the game.
As Bjorn says: “These are large strides as this is a major thing, yet I think it is the correct activity.
“I have an inclination that it’s been proactive from the visit, with arbitrators having great discussions with the players.
“Without naming any names, they have singled out the ones they know as a matter of fact and had enormous discussions with them.
“There has been a nice sentiment among players and caddies as everybody attempts to continue ahead with it and ideally it takes care of an issue that has been in the game for a long, long time.”